Local airlines reduce operations by 60 per cent

Ahead of resumption of flights following the closure caused by the coronavirus outbreak, local airlines yesterday said operations had been reduced by 60 per cent and in-flight catering scrapped as part of measures to cope with the crisis.

The development, experts noted, was expected given the slow restart that awaits aviation business, longer recovery process and the dire financial position of all the airlines.

Speaking at a webinar forum, chairman of Air Peace airline, Allen Onyema, pointed out that the pandemic was more devastating than 9/11, adding that a lot of measures had to come to place as a way of mitigating its effects on businesses.

He said his organisation had to stop in-flight cookery going forward, and would not deploy all its aircraft in addition to a 60 per cent downsizing of the workforce.

Onyema regretted that the airline that was operating 110 flights daily had reduced the tally to 42 before the lockdown, adding that so many sacrifices would have to be made by employers and employees for business to continue.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, expressed confidence that the industry would rebound just as it did after the 9/11 and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) periods. He nonetheless called for mergers and acquisitions of airlines, describing it as one of the ways forward for the sector.

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